Every Wednesday, the Jimenezes feed more than a hundred people a hearty lunch with dishes of chicken patties, macaroni salad, and fresh vegetables, among others. The meals are entirely funded by private donations and staffed with volunteers. However, Daytona Beach is one of a handful of cities that enacted ordinances barring individuals from serving food in public. Last week, nearly a half-dozen police officers showed up at Manatee Island Park, where a long line of people had queued to get a meal, and served citations to the Jimenezes and volunteers.
As many of you know I am not about that life, religious life. It is not for me. However I do respect honor , appreciate show gratitude for kind acts that human being do to each other. The Jimenez couple runs run a Christian outreach group called “Spreading the Word Without Saying a Word Ministry” that gives food to the needy every week, pointing to Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”. I love this approach, as it is more about action than talk.
Chico and Debbie, along with four volunteers, were each given multiple 2nd degree misdemeanor citations. The fines totaled $373 per person, $2,238 for the group. The police also permanently banned the group from Manatee Island Park. Daytona Beach is just the latest city to crack down on groups that feed the poor in city parks. Other recent examples range from Birmingham to St. Louis to Raleigh to Philadelphia to Orlando. A 2010 report from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty identified more than a dozen other cities with restrictions and found an uptick in the number of new ordinances.
Illogical but True
It’s illogical to think that this couple would be fined for helping their fellow citizens, but it’s true. Our legislation is out of touch with the reality of the human existence and not by accident. I do believe that the state and city governments should be doing a lot more than they in terms of care for the hungry. But we must remember that we are a society divided by class. It’s no coincidence this is happening in many cities. The poor the hungry are the reason so many bad things are happening in this country. I will tell you a secret: when on the dollar bill it says in God we Trust, we are trusting him to turn a blind our to our hypocrisy and arrogance.
Why do you think is the real goal of these new ordinances ?